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Poster: Jobygoob Date: Nov 12, 2011 5:50am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: China Doll Applause

Very interesting question! I often find myself wondering about this kind of thing at concerts even when the answer is obvious, like the inevitable cheer at any line that has to do with drugs, getting drunk, or using profanity. Crowd dynamics is pretty fascinating, most of these people wouldn't stop to piss on you if you were on fire, but let's all get together and let Neil Young know that we approve of him when he "felt like getting high" back in the 1970s.

As for this particular point of China Doll I always thought it was because of the particular loveliness of the harmonizing, which wasn't very common, combined with the recent culmination of the jam section of the song.

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Poster: vapors Date: Nov 12, 2011 9:57am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: China Doll Applause

I’ll speculate with you here and agree that harmonizing and culmination are factors.
For me personally, there is a deep, spiritual level to the lyric - something in common with a fair percentage of Hunter/Garcia compositions. While this significance is partly what makes the GD so dear to me, I know would be unable to spell it out. Possibly another reason why the songs take such hold of us – some life truths or eternal hopes sit veiled within the lyrics... Not something I’m looking to discuss, but it was this affection for Hunter’s lyrics that prompted my retort in a recent thread where it was proposed that Hunter wrote Franklin’s with cocaine use in mind.